Selections BoF

Sunday 29 July 2012

Attendance - Cosimo Cecchi, William Jon McCann, Jakub Steiner, Bastian, Emmanuele, Carlos, Simon from Sugar...

How to differentiate between paste and word selection?

  • Tap to place cursor (one handle)
  • Long press to select a word (two handles)
  • nb - Android seems to do tap to place cursor when between text, but pops up an insert button when at the end of a string

What about select all?

  • Android used to present a choice on long press - Select Word / Select All (probably not what we want)

Handle pointing inside a selection with multiple lines - makes it hard to view text, doesn't conceptually fit with "handles"

  • For single line selections, both handles could be on the bottom
  • Or could we have the handles smaller and the interaction area large?
  • When at the bottom of the screen, the handles should be above the selection

Can we expose some of this on non-touch devices? eg. for adjusting selections


  • Typically selects a word
  • Could use double tap for this
  • If the initial selection is a word, moving the handle should be by character (not by word)
  • It would be better to have consistent behaviour for editable and non-editable text


  • Selects the paragraph

Do we want this for list views? - for selecting lists

What about deselection?

  • Tap somewhere else? Could be difficult if the surrounding area is packed with responsive elements
  • One alternative - eat the click - clicking or pressing somewhere else would have no effect and clear the selection (essentially turning selection into a mode)


  • Problem with current context menus - they are very long
  • Should the application provide actions or should they be consistent?
  • Current GTK provided context menu - has options for input methods and inserting unicode control characters.
    • Input method options aren't required
    • The unicode characters are only required for mixed language cases
  • Clear is strange - hard to understand. The menu should operate on the selection only.
  • Delete can be handled by the keyboard.
  • Undo doesn't make sense. It's something that's added by the application, not GTK.
  • Select All - could make sense
  • Sugar needs the actions too
  • Should it be icons or text?
  • How do you get a context menu on a text entry box?
    • We can't use click and hold for select and for context menus
    • It might be OK to lose the separate context menu that is normally accessed through the right mouse button
      • These options should be available from the gear menu
      • Works with the Documents selection mode - right click selection opens the select mode with the item selected
    • Right click on a selection should always act on that selection
      • For images you should get a context menu that is specific to the image - and not contain generic actions
  • Escape key could remove the popup buttons. Pressing Esc a second time would unselect.

Do we need a iOS style magnifier for modifying an insertion point?

Insert button could display what is going to be inserted

Could require that someone clicks/taps the selection in order to display the actions popup

  • This would shrink the handles down
  • Tapping/clicking the selection again would remove the action popup and the handles would return to their normal size

Design/OS/Selections/BoF (last edited 2013-12-04 19:16:52 by WilliamJonMcCann)